Who Won The Week (2 February 2020)

I have Fandango to thank for this title – he has been posting regularly on this subject from his west-coast-USA vantage point. I am interested in current affairs too, and normally have some nonsense or other to spout about one of the UK’s topical news stories. So, I like to join in. Maybe there’s something in your world that you’d like to post about?

Well, over the last two weeks the Australian Open tennis tournament has been happening, so I must first extend my congratulations to Sofia Kenin and Novak Djokovic, who won the women’s and men’s singles titles respectively. And, not a bad result it is at all, with the winners cashing cheques for over AUD 4 million (that’s about GBP 2.25 million, EUR 2.6 million, or not far short of USD 3 million). The runners-up didn’t do too badly either – receiving AUD 2 million. Somebody who “just” won the doubles competition walked away with AUD 750,000, while even someone who didn’t win at all (knocked out in the first round of qualifying) received AUD 20,000. Not a bad day at the office, eh? The total prize pot for the tournament was a staggering AUD 71 million.

But none of the players was my winner of the week.

The Australian Open is run by Tennis Australia, and because of that, they are my winners this week. The Open brings in a decent amount of cash for them, at least AUD 71 million, just to cover the prize money alone. In fact, Tennis Australia published an income of almost AUD350 million in their latest accounts – most of which, fair enough, is spent promoting tennis in Australia. They are a good bet – only last year development started on a new tennis stadium at the Melbourne Park venue, at a total cost of AUD 270 million. So you might say that they are doing well for themselves and for their sport.

It’s great to see the tennis community enjoying itself, and presumably the sport is flourishing there as a result. In any case, there was not much other news this week, except maybe that Friday, the Canberra region declared a State of Emergency because of the bushfires. Canberra to Melbourne is about 450 miles (650km).

Now, please, don’t get me wrong. I’m not passing judgement on the sport of tennis, in fact in years gone by I have enjoyed watching it myself. Plus, Tennis Australia have pledged to help people affected by bushfires to the tune of a very generous AUD 6 million. I just wanted to highlight how such splendour can exist, just a stone’s throw from such devastation, and just leave it to you to draw your conclusions. And to judge for your$elve$ whether the world ha$ it$ prioritie$ $et right.

Song Lyric Sunday (2 February 2020) – Affectionate Names

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of duets (my choice). This week, he gives us the straightforward theme of affectionate names.

I struggled a bit this week. Not to think of a song with a connection to one of these themes, but I like to choose one that I really like, and I couldn’t really think of one. Not a real stand-out track. But I’ve said before on here that I grew up with a lot of reggae, so it’ll be no surprise that I listened to a lot of jazz and R’n’B too.

But I ignored my obvious possibilities this week and went a little further back in time, to a song written by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn for the 1930 “film of the musical” Whooppee! That version became a signature tune for it’s singer, Eddie Cantor.

I’m not going quite that far back, though. Only as far as 1957, when my choice was covered by Nina Simone. It was to become one of her signature tunes, too. Nina Simone was born Eunice Waymon in 1933, and she recorded my choice very early on, on her debut album. It immediately fell into obscurity but gained a revival in 1987 as the result of a commercial for Chanel No. 5, of all things. It enjoyed a slight renaissance, charting in the UK and across Europe. The revived version even got the Wallace and Grommit treatment, having a video (which I shall present today) made by the same animators.

To Simone’s credit, she was very active in the Civil Rights movement, often promoting it through her work. Her revival brough with it financial security, and she spent her final years living in the south of France (smart lady). She battled breast cancer for her final years, but she still returned to the USA to perform until 1998. Simone died in her sleep in France in 2003, aged 70.

Today I present My Baby Just Cares For Me. I hope the video raises a smile.

My baby don’t care for shows
My baby don’t care for clothes
My baby just cares for me
My baby don’t care for cars and races
My baby don’t care for high-tone places

Liz Taylor is not his style
And even Lana Turner’s smile
Is somethin’ he can’t see
My baby don’t care who knows
My baby just cares for me

Baby, my baby don’t care for shows
And he don’t even care for clothes
He cares for me
My baby don’t care
For cars and races
My baby don’t care for
He don’t care for high-tone places

Liz Taylor is not his style
And even Liberace’s smile
Is something he can’t see
Is something he can’t see
I wonder what’s wrong with baby
My baby just cares for
My baby just cares for
My baby just cares for me

Walter Donaldson, Gus Kahn